How To Remove a Failed Domain Controller

The Domain Controller or DC is found in a Windows-powered server. It works to address a request for security authentication, such as when you log in to your computer or when the computer makes sure all permissions are in check. In the older versions of the Windows system, there used to be a Primary Domain Controller and then several backup domain controllers to help authenticate. However, later versions altered this domain setup by having the Active Directory Domain or AD. With this, Windows servers no longer have the need for the primary and its backup domain controllers.

Sometimes though, with the tasks Domain Controllers perform, one or two might not function well, thus disabling the server. The site administrator must then fix this issue. He may assign an alternate DC and remove the Domain Controller that has failed.

Here is a simple procedure to follow if you know that one of your domain controllers has failed:

  1. Find the last domain controller from the domain. When you have located it, click "Start" and then follow it with "Run"
  2. Once the screen opens, type in dcpromo. This move will then open the Active Directory Installation Wizard. Click on the "Next" button afterwards.
  3. When you come to the Remove Active Directory page, pick the last particular server as its last domain controller. Wait for the next step of the installation process. This should already start removing the failed domain. Once it has done that though, remember that any data there, including any accounts, is permanently gone.

Take note of the following when you are doing this procedure:

  1. You should be accessing the system via the Domain Admins Group.
  2. If you are not, then your account must have the appropriate permissions to do this.
  3. Set all local groups in Default to avoid further complicating the procedure.
  4. In removing an Active Directory domain, make sure that the other entire domain controller it is associated with has already been demoted.
  5. Child domains that exist in this domain setup cannot be removed.
  6. When you try to delete the last domain in a particular set-up, this will then render its domain controller empty and will therefore be deleted, too.
  7. Makes sure to transfer the domain controller of the one that holds the master operations. If this were accidentally removed, it would not be so easy to retrieve.
  8. Before removing any domain controller containing the last replica of any directory partition, remove the application directory first before removing the domain.

All these may sound so very complicated. But anyone with a background in networking and setting up domain servers will be able to quickly grasp the idea of this system.

Microsoft Support has a more comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about network, servers and domain controllers.  You can further check these references for this:
•    Domain controller is not functioning properly
•    How to remove completely orphaned Domain Controller


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